Alexander Zverev believes an aggressive game plan is key to winning more titles after reaching the quarter-finals of the Monte-Carlo Masters with a solid win over Pablo Carreno Busta.
The world No. 3 saw a second-set improvement over Spain’s 13th seed to claim a 6-2 7-5 win and reach the Principality’s last eight for the second time in six visits.
“For the second clay-court game of the season, I can’t complain too much,” he said.
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“Yes, I lost my focus a bit in the second set, but at the end of the day he’s someone who can really play. I’m happy with a win in straight sets.
To win the biggest tournaments in the world, like the Masters series, like the Grand Slams, you have to be aggressive. I’m not going to win big titles just by pushing the ball.”
The five-time Masters 1000 champion had too much firepower for Carreno Busta in a one-sided first set but needed to rally after an early fall in the second as the 24-year-old Olympic champion won 79% of his opening set. serving points against only 57% for his opponent.
“It’s great, because especially on a clay court, especially here where it’s a bit slower I think on the other clay courts we play on it’s very important to have that confidence on your serve,” said Zverev, who hit eight aces and converted five of 14 break points in his victory. “All around, it’s important to get those kinds of wins.”
Zverev is now just three games away from adding Monte Carlo to the Madrid and Roma titles he previously won on clay.
Then he faces the ninth seed Jannik Sinner who came from a set down to defeat the fifth seed and 2021 runner-up, Andrei Rublev 5-7 6-1 6-3 in two hours and 20 minutes.
The Italian appeared to suffer from a blister problem in the first set and was given a medical time-out early in the second for what turned out to be a rebinding of his right toe. It seemed to work in his favor as he fought back to avoid a repeat of the problem that led to his retirement in his Miami Open quarter-final against Francisco Cerundolo.
Sinner won six straight after losing serve early in the second set and then broke twice in the decider to wrap up a win that saw him hit 35 winners.
The 20-year-old also improved to 19-3 on the year and secured a spot in his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final on clay.
Speaking about the atmosphere on Court Rainier III after his victory, he said: “It’s very, very special for me to play here. Obviously, many, many Italians [in the] crowd. It’s incredible.”
He added: “I know the blisters pretty well now. I don’t think that’s a concern (for the quarter-final). We have to deal with it a bit, obviously, but let’s see. Tomorrow is an important game.”
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